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tv   Newsline  PBS  December 14, 2016 7:00pm-7:31pm PST

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hello there. welcome to nhk "newsline," it is thursday december 125th, 10:00 a.m. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. japanese prime minister shinzo abe and russia's president are about to start a two-day leader summit in japan. abe wants to push forward with discussions on a longstanding territorial dispute over four russian-controlled islands but vladimir putin is expected to prioritize cooperation in areas like the economy to build up mutual trust. japan maintains the islands are an inherent part of its territory and were illegally occupied after world war ii. the dispute is the main reason why the two countries haven't signed a peace treaty. abe has met with putin over a
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dozen times. he wants to form a political consensus with the russian president. his goal is to reach a deal that has eluded their predecessors for more than. 0 years. he has proposed taking a new approach to break the impasse on peace treaty negotiations. he pitched an eight-point economic cooperation plan back in may. >> translator: i have gained a sense i will be able to break the impasse on peace treaty negotiations. >> recently, russia has been struggling with low oil prices and sanctions over its actions in ukraine. so it's keen on japanese economic cooperation in its far east. putin says russia and japan should sign a peace treaty but earlier this month he also said this. >> translator: we believe we have no territorial issues at all. it's only japan that believes it has a territorial problem with russia. >> moscow maintains the islands became part of russian territory as a result of the war.
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the two leaders are expected to discuss possible joint economic activities on the disputed islands as well as freer travel to and from them. nhk has learned that a number of gas and oil projects are expected to be part of an economic cooperation plan between the two countries. another, or rather, sources say russia's government-backed energy giant gazprom and two japanese trading firms are expected to cooperate to build facilities to liquify natural gas in russia's far east. another state-run oil firm, rosneft, is e pexpected to work with mitsubishi corporation. a private russian gas firm, novatech, expected to sign a memorandum to build a strategic relationship with three japanese trading firms. nhk world is in front of the how tem whe
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hotel where the summit will take place. what's the atmosphere like there? >> reporter: as you can expect, security sight here in nagato city, around the hotel where the two leaders will meet later today. police officers have been assigned to security for the summit. there are checkpoints all over the place. they're also inspecting cars coming to the airport. in order to deal with the influx of foreign media, the city has hired a russian woman who speaks japanese, english and, of course, russian. japanese officials have prepared promotional gift bags for the russian counterparts. the bags have bath salts that can make water just like a local hot spring. there's also tea from the neighboring city of ube, and a sightseeing pamphlet. putin is expected to reach nagat oran o on nuthursday amp. prime minister abe will greet him at the hotel. the two leaders are expected to have talks in the evening that will last until nighttime.
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kurando tago, nhk world, nagato. all right. japan and russia have spent more than seven decades without a peace treaty. leaders have been discussing settling the territorial issue. here's a look back on how that's being played out. >> reporter: japan calls the four islands the northern territories and maintains they have an inherent part of its territory. ru russia says they became part of their country as a consequence of war. in the final year of world war ii the former -- the japanese government says it was a violation of a neutrality pact. soviet leader joseph stalin annexed the islands and deported 17,000 japanese. a decade later, japan and russia resumed diplomatic relations, but the islands remained a sticking point and leaders agreed to continue talks on signing a peace treaty.
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in the years since, moscow has been building infrastructure for the russians who call the islands home. currently about 16,000 people live there. and as the leaders of both countries changed, both sides continued their discussions over the dispute off and on. but neither has budged on its stance. in 2013 japanese prime minister shinzo abe and russian president vladimir putin issued a joint statement saying the two governments aimed to finally resolve the issue. since then, they've held 11 summits. >> translator: we agreed to accelerate our talks to draw up solutions acceptable for both sides. >> reporter: abe proposed what he calls a new approach to putin. >> translator: if we continue on like this, this very same discussion will continue for yet more decades to come. vladimir, shall our generation have the courage to fulfill our responsibilities?
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>> reporter: putin welcomes stronger economic ties but has been cautious about referring to the territorial issue. >> translator: both countries are hoping and making efforts to settle the issues, but i can't yet say when or how or even if we can achieve it at all. >> reporter: and has said nothing new when it comes to the islands. >> translator: as a result of the war, the islands are under russia's sovereignty. >> reporter: abe, too, knows the road ahead is not a smooth one. >> translator: the path toward achieving the goal is now in sight, but the mountain has to be climbed one step at a time. >> reporter: the big question now is whether these two leaders can achieve something their predecessors couldn't.
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>> we're joined now here in the studio for some insight on the one-on-one. so how will the northern territories issue move forward? >> well, negotiations between the two countries have been tough and so far it appears there won't be a major leap toward a resolution. putin said ahead of the talks it's only japan that believes it has territorial problems with russia. so judging from those words, we can see it may not be a quick or easy process. abe says he's determined to put an end to the issue in his generation. abe wants to use this as a key step for future negotiations. to do that, abe's taking what he calls a new approach. that is to put legal and historical debates aside and instead focus on how the two countries can cooperate for the future. so what abe and putin are likely
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to discuss are economic activities on the islands as well as expanding visits. >> so what direction will that take? >> we're closely watching how the two leaders address the joint activities. their stances on the projects have been significantly different. tokyo has been saying it won't allow japanese people to conduct business on the islands because it could be regarded as submitting to russia's jurisdiction. so it's a difficult balancing act for abe who wants to move forward with project without infringing on japan's legal status. russia, on the other hand, wants to apply its law on any developments. >> so we'll have to see if those two leaders can close that gap. thanks very much. let's now shift gears and
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turn to business news. policymakers at the u.s. federal reserve will raise the key interest rate for the first time in a year. ai uchida joins us now from the business desk. ai, it's been a while since the last hike. >> it sure has, catherine. you'll remember the last one happened december 2015 and that's when the fed ended a near zero interest rate policy it had in place since the 2008 financial crisis. chair janet yellen says the latest decision reflects the central bank's confidence in the progress that the economy has made. the policymakers released a statement after a two-day meeting. they say they're going to raise the rate from between 0.25% and 0.5% to between 0.5% and 0.75%. they say the u.s. economy has been expanding at a moderate pace and job gains have been solid in recent months. >> the committee judged a modest increase in the federal funds rate is appropriate in light of the solid progress we have seen toward our goals of maximum employment and 2% inflation.
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>> policymakers now predict that they'll be raising the rate three times in 2017. their forecast in september said two hikes were likely. for more on the fed's decision and its possible impact, i asked head of japan economics at bank of america maerrill lynch in tokyo for her insight. first of all the rate hike was widely expected but the fed's projections for three hikes in 2017 could be taking some by surprise. why do you think -- what do you think, rather, is behind this decision in? >> as you said, the rate hike, itself, is not a surprise but this was a hawkish hike and surprisingly in the projections of the fmoc. the reason why more fmoc members are predicting a faster pace of rate hikes in 2017, as janet
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yellen said, some members are taking se ining into account in- under the trump new administration, so i think the expectation of higher stimulus moves some members to move their dots as well as the good data that we've been seeing in recent months. >> and how about rate hikes for you, how many are you expecting? >> our u.s. economists are are still holding onto their views that the fed's rate hikes in 2017 will be limited by one hike followed by three hikes in 2018. the reason firor this modest pa of hikes in 2017, we think the strong dollar we've been seeing since the u.s. elections will begin to weigh on the u.s. economy and also dampen inflation offsetting higher growth. >> okay. what are the downside of higher rates in the u.s. for japan and the rest of asia? >> obviously japan is very well geared toward a stronger u.s.
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growth and a lot of, you know, earnings comes from the united states, so a weaker yen as we saw from the latest tankan readings is a tailwind to sentiment which could boost nonmanufacturing sector in time. for emergie ining markets and emerging asia in general, it's a more complicated story. some of these countries are more vulnerable to increases in dollar funding rates and i think also the concern overall in the region is increased trade protectionism and how that might affect export earnings so japan relatively speaking is in a good spot, but we do have some caution for e.m. asia. >> i see. and how would the fed's move to hike rates, how would that affect, or influence, the policies at the bank of japan? >> well, i think the bank of japan is, frankly, quite happy with market developments so far. we think they're going to hold onto their, you know, long-term and short-term rate targets for the foreseeable future and keep monetary policy unchanged.
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i think if the dollar continues to strengthen, it may become a problem down the road if the u.s. changes its stance on the desirability of the dollar strength. for now we think the bank of japan is going to sit back and, you know, let the markets do their work for them. >> well, let's now check on the market reaction to the fed's decision. the dollar surged against major currencies. as fed policymakers suggested that rate hikes in 2017 may come at a faster pace than markets had been expecting. against the yen, the dollar has leapt way past 117 yen reaching its highest level since early february. right now, 117.6. the u.s. currency also rose against the euro. it touched the highest level since march 2015. now, that is after yields on u.s. government bonds surged. the yield on the benchmark ten year treasury touched its highest level since september 2014. let's see what's happening with the nikkei, that is in the positive up by a little more
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than a third of a percent above 19,300. exporters are in demand on the weaker yen. some financials are seeing gains as well. on expectations of increased earnings from higher interest rates. let's turn to markets open now across the asia-pacific, and we are seeing losses elsewhere. seoul's kospi down half a percent. sydney's benchmark index is down more than .8%. china markets will open in just under half an hour. well, chinese media is reporting that beijing is considering slapping a penalty on a u.s. automaker over alleged -- over alleged price fixing. u.s. president-elect donald trump plans to discuss the matter with his pick for commerce secretary. the government-affiliated china daily has carried an sbintervie with the senior economic planning official and suggested the government may impose fines on the unnamed car maker. the article alleges the u.s. company has been instructing its dealerships in china to set
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prices since 2014. a spokesperson for trump's transition team has told reporters he'll discuss the matter with wilbur ross who has been nominated for the commerce secretary post. trump broke with tradition and spoke over the phone with taiwanese president earlier this month and now a possible penalty by beijing against a u.s. company could worsen trump's already rocky relationship with china. that's the latest in business for this hour. here's a check on markets.
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on to other stories we're following this hour. we take you to aleppo where renewed fighting prevented peel fr people from leaving the northern syrian city, despite an agreement to evacuate local reside residents and anti-government fighters. people stranded in aleppo are using social media to post what many call their last messages. government forces have taken control of almost the entire city by tuesday with the help of russian air strikes. people were supposed to start leave aleppo early on wednesday but the two sides disagreed on some conditions and the evacuations didn't go ahead as scheduled. the government and the rebels blame each other for attacking first. one person stranded in the embattled city tells nhk that everyone want s to leave if a
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safe evacuation can be achieved. people in aleppo are using social media. >> this may be my last video, save aleppo, save humanity. >> many people now are being killed and just kept in the street and their building. no one can help them. no way. don't believe anymore in united nations. don't believe anymore in the international community. >> the u.n. estimates about 50,000 people are trapped in the city. there's widespread international concern about the humanitarian situation there. the crash landing of a u.s. military aircraft in japanese waters has left local people worried and angry. an osprey transport plane ditched tuesday night off the coast of the southern prefecture of okinawa. nhk world reports. >> reporter: the chief of u.s. forces in okinawa has expressed
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his regret over the incident. >> we have regret. we have certainly -- we regret this accident, but we do not regret the great work of our young pilot and the decision he made not to endanger the okinawan people. and i think that we must understand that. >> reporter: nicholson has the aircraft became unstable and a hose extending from a refueling plane was severed, hitting the osprey's blades. he says the pilot had to choose whether to return to base or perform an emergency landing. the pilot decided that making a controlled descent into the water near the city of nago would be safer. all five crew members were rescued. >> translator: such an incident should never have taken place. i can't live here as long as this situation continues. >> reporter: the aircraft was deployed at a controversial u.s. marine base, and the incident has upset residents and local politicians.
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>> translator: i've long been opposed to the deployment of the osprey aircraft, and my anxieties have now become a reality. people here cannot feel safe. >> translator: this was bound to happen. i demand that the ospreys be grounded and no longer used. >> reporter: onaga plans to meet with central government officials in tokyo including the defense minister on thursday to protest about the incident. a former commander of the japan air self-defense force says a comprehensive probe should be conducted to find out what happened. >> translator: the aircraft appears to have hit the water very hard. the analysis should be aimed at how they can prevent another accident and what measures they should take. >> reporter: u.s. military
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officials say it's highly unlikely that there was a mechanical problem with the osprey. but they say they'll stop using ospreys in japan until they've confirmed they're safe. they say the first major incident involving one of the aircraft in the country. nhk world, tokyo. nhk has learned that a second u.s. military osprey aircraft reported mechanical issues during flight. the aircraft was forced to return to futenma air station on the same night as the crash landing. video taken by an nhk reporter shows u.s. service personnel and vehicles surrounding the aircraft at the base. a u.s. military official said the crew took steps to correct the problem, and the aircraft landed safely at futenma. the official said no one was injured, and there was no damage to the aircraft. the u.s. military said the second osprey had been monitoring the site where the first one came down, and the two incidents are unrelated.
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japanese lawmakers have voted in favor of legalizing casinos. the controversial bill was passed on thursday despite resist sfra resiststance. the japanese government wants to promote the construction of what it calls integrated resorts that include casinos. it said the resorts will create jobs and bring many more tourists. >> translator: integrated resorts will help make japanese cities become more competitive in attracting foreign visitors. >> opposition members wanted more time to debate the bill. >> translator: we cannot tolerate the steamrolling of the bill. the efforts of con ssensus building and procedure. >> it will take time before
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japanese casino officially opens its doors. regulatory legislation needs to be passed first along with ways to cope with gambling addiction. more than 80,000 evacuees are still in shelters and tents in indonesia's western province of aceh after last week's powerful earthquake. it killed more than 100 people and destroyed. aftershocks continue in the region. residents are are sleeping at evacuation sites such as local mosques. >> translator: we hope the central government will provide help for us so that we can start a new life. >> aid has begun to reach the worst-hit areas, but more food, clothing and sanitation products are still urgently needed. president joko widodo visited the province last week and pledged to rebuild the affected communities. the earthquake is the worst disaster to hit aceh since the
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devastating quake and tsunami in december 2004. let's go to northeastern areas of the united states, now people there are experiencing a severe winter storm. meteorologist robert speta joins us with the details in world weather. >> yes, let's start off here, especially across the great lakes heading through the northeastern u.s. we are looking at fairly heavy snowfall. not just the snow that's coming down or the accumulation with it. see the pressure gradient right in here and with it you have that lake-effect snow kicking up, quite unstable. a few areas around buffalo, new york, actually reporting thundersnow, that's that snowfall with a thunderstorm mixed right into it. definitely some pretty scary sights. it's making for some rough travel conditions as well. i'll show you some video we have coming out of indiana first. see numerous traffic accidents there. the good news, there was no injuries reported in this
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pileup. several trucks pushed off the road on one of these highways. just very slick conditions. the temperatures have also, by the way, been a big issue. in ohio, you see they're cleaning up a mess there, too. windchills at times were well below the freezing point, though. some areas were actually looking at gusty winds coming through with the windchill dropping down to minus 20 to minus 30. hypothermia and frostbite a big problem if you're not bundled up. the cold air along with the snowfall is going to continue to push down toward the south. temperatures over the next several days staying on the cold side. ottawa, canada, minus 25 there for your low on friday. buffalo, new york, be looking at some windy conditions, some blizzard, actually, conditions out there. minus 13. dipping down before a relative warmup to minus 7. meanwhile, back toward the east into halifax, if you're in eastern canada, minus 15. so you're also going to be feeling the effects of this cold chill. now, if we go to the other side of the continent out here, we
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have a different weather system. the pineapple express, animation there. one reason we call it the pineapple express, by the way, is because it originates near hawaii. and then they have this river of moisture that comes across the eastern pacific, comes onshore here into california and brings widespread rainfall. snow in higher elevations expected in some of these areas. maybe some freezing rain in a few mountain passes. something to watch out for if you're traveling especially in eastern california heading over toward nevada, definitely going it be some very slick rods out there for a lot of you. might see scattered showers, by the way, extending down toward los angeles, too heading into thursday and friday. here across japan, we're looking at our storm system moving away toward the east but the sea-effect snow is kicking in yet again. take a look at snow depths across parts of hokkaido. half a meter northern areas of honchu and aomori. sunon, one of the snowiest
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places on earth, 30 centimeters yesterday. there in niigata. about a 55 centimeter base. more snow expected on top of that, though. northeasterly winds over the next couple days are going to stay persistent at least heading into saturday morning. do remember, though, this is western hokkaido, western areas of honchu. if you're in nagoya, toward tokyo, clear skies will prevail over the next several days. those mountains stopping a lot of that precipitation. tokyo, high of 9. back toward the west, high pressure also dominates in seoul and beijing. sunny skies but it's on the cold side here on thursday. all right. here's our extended outlook.
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and that wraps up this edition of nhk "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks for staying with us.
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